By: Kimberly Rivera
The Lychee and Dog Meat Festival, better known as the Yulin Festival, is an annual 10-day event that causes the death of over 10 thousand dogs. This event occurs in Yulin, China in the Guangxi province and happens during the summer solstice, from June 21st to the 30th.
The festival first began in 2009 which marked the beginning of summer solstice. However, the tradition is dated back 400 years. In Chinese folklore, dog meat is believed to bring luck and good health for those who eat it during the summer months. It is also believed that a dog’s meat can ward off diseases and help a man heighten his sexual performance.
The Lychee and Dog Meat Festival has attracted controversy both locally and internationally. The festival’s critics believe that the dogs are killed inhumanely, and the practice does not abide by China’s hygiene regulations. During the festival, many spectators can see; how the dogs are kept in cramped conditions, are killed using clubs in public, and some are wearing collars, which indicate that they are stolen. Some spectators have also seen that some of the dogs that are being sold are sick and/or old which is unhygienic because their illnesses can be spread to the people who are consuming them.
However, many locals do not see their customs as controversial. In China, the consumption of dog meat is not illegal and around 10 to 20 millions of dogs are killed for human consumption every year. To justify their tradition, a local explains, “ Some dogs are people’s friends and others are for food. In India, cows are sacred. If you eat cows … , all of India is against you. … It’s the same logic”.
So, do you think the Yulin Festival should continue?